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Peninsulares: Wikis


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"Peninsular" redirects here. For the geographical formation, see peninsula.
Junípero Serra
Notable Peninsulares:
Juan Ponce de León · Junípero Serra
Bartolomé de las Casas · Pedro de Valdivia
Total population
Peninsulares-Spanish Born
115,000,000 Descendants
28% of Hispanic American population

Hispanics in the Spanish Empire

Regions with significant populations
Throughout Hispanic America



Roman Catholic; also Protestant

Related ethnic groups

Spaniards · Italian · Portuguese · French

In the colonial caste system of Spanish America, a peninsular was a Spanish-born Spaniard or mainland Spaniard residing in the New World, as opposed to a person of full Spanish descent born in the Americas (known as criollos). The word "peninsular" makes reference to the Iberian Peninsula where Spain is located.

Offices of the Americas were held by peninsulares. Apart from the distinction of peninsulares from criollos, the castas system distinguished also mestizos (of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry), mulatos (of mixed Spanish and black ancestry), Amerindians, zambos (mixed Amerindian and black ancestry) and finally blacks. In some places and times, such as during the wars of independence, peninsulares were called deprecatively godos (for the "Visigoths," who had ruled Spain), or in Mexico, gachupines or gauchos[citation needed].

Colonial officials at the highest levels arrived from Spain to fulfill their duty to govern Spanish colonies in Latin America. Often, the peninsulares had large quantities of land. They defended Cádiz's monopoly on trade, upsetting the criollos, who turned to contraband with British and French colonies, especially in areas away from the main ports of call for the Flota de Indias. They worked to preserve Spanish power and acted as agents of patrol, in certain cases.

In colonial social hierarchy, the peninsulares were nominally at the top, followed by criollos, who developed a fully-entrenched powerful local aristocracy during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. In the French Revolution, the peninsulares were generally conservative.



Burkholder, Mark A. and Johnson, Lyman L. 'Colonial Latin America', sixth edition (Oxford University Press. 2008) ISBN 978-0-19-532042-8

See also


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